How to increase my signal strength?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Marco_CH, Feb 17, 2006.

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  1. Marco_CH

    Marco_CH Registered Member

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    Hello :)

    I hope Im asking this in the right board.

    Ive set up a home network with 3 Computers. A notebook and 2 desktop computer. Im using a standard adsl modem from netopia (cayman), a smc router and a dlink access point (dwl-900ap+).

    On one of my computers the signal strength is quite weak (wlan). it says 11mbit but it drops down to 2mbit when i try to transfer files or stream movies. ive been thinking to increase that. when i stream movies i have every 20-30 seconds little freezes of 2-3 seconds.

    im not sure which idea is best but one could be to use an expander. this should increase the signal. is there anything i have to take care of? ive never been using such an expander before.

    another idea would be to replace my old access point with a newer one. maybe the newer ones are stronger? are there suggestions?

    maybe i should buy one with up to 54mbit/s? the usb wlan card of the destination computer can use rates up to 54.

    im not sure now what to do. replace my current one or using some kind of expander.

    i also dont know if the encryption has an effect on that loss of signal. before i was using a 128bit wep but i changed that to wpa. maybe that adds to the problem?

    Im thankful for all suggestions :)

    Regards
    Marco

    UPDATE: What I have done so far
    Im online with my notebook (wlan) right next to the access point and have a 100% signal at 11mbit. Im checking if the streaming of the movie has freezes or not.
    Surprisingly it does have. Apparently the bandwith isnt enough to stream without freezes even with a perfect signal. This leads me to the conclusion that I need a new access point? Would a 54mbit one be enough? But then I still have the problem on my other computer which is a floor below. Would that new AP be strong enough (without an expander between) to stream better?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2006
  2. JimIT

    JimIT Registered Member

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    That AP is wireless b. 11mb is about all it can do.

    I would say that a wireless g AP would help, as 54mb speed is then possible, but you need to make sure that your wireless cards are all wireless g, (sounds like the destination laptop is) otherwise the AP will continue to top out at 11mb, because it runs at the top speed of the slowest NIC on your network.
     
  3. Marco_CH

    Marco_CH Registered Member

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    Hello JimIT

    thanks for your answer. I checked the other usb wlan adapter and it is capable of that g mode. Ill check my local store tomorrow for an appropriate AP.

    im worried tho about the signal strength. obviously my current one doesnt have enough power for a strong signal at the destination computer. all i can get are 2mbit.

    how big is the chance that a new one (wireless g 54mbit) gives a stronger signal? of course i wont get a 54mbit signal there, but 22mbit i would really like to have. is that realistic or would i still need some kind of expander?

    of course thats hard to tell without guessing, but what does ur experience say about that?

    many thanks

    regards
    marco
     
  4. JimIT

    JimIT Registered Member

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    Since your other pc is "downstairs", and your current AP is wireless b, I would say that you are having issues with interference in the signal from the construction of your house, wiring, walls, etc., which affects wireless b in a more adverse manner than wireless g.

    You will PROBABLY have much better signal strength downstairs with a new wireless g capable access point, because it does not suffer as much from the issues wireless b has with physical barriers/interference, as I mentioned above.

    Sounds like you're on the right track. Good luck! ;)
     
  5. Marco_CH

    Marco_CH Registered Member

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    This sounds promising :)
    Thanks for your advise in this!

    Regards
    Marco
     
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